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Beck, Elmer A. / The trade union press in the U.S. occupied area (Germany)
(1948)

Werts, Leo P.
Foreword PDF (1.2 MB)



In my judgement, the labor press is one of the most important tools in
the building of a sound and democratic trade union movfement in Germany.
In any organization1 whether it be a trade union or an employer association,
a .g torarnaental or an international organization, the adequacy of its
Co.maunications system is most important in keeping the organization toget'her.
It is recognized that the system of corununications can be one which will
roflect the thinking of the mumbership as well as that of the leadership
of
the organization, or the system of communications can be perverted into a
method of permitting the laadership to dominate and to indoctrinate the member-
ship of the organization.
It is obvious that the trade union press, being a part of a democratic
organization, must place special oemlhasis on the role of the membership
in
their free trade unions. *'ithin its scope of influence, it must ensure that
the membership is not directed by officials on what to belieTre and which
policies to support. .,s free muen and woimen, the trade union members must
be
given the widest possible opportunity to examine critically the recommnadlations
and policies developed by their leaders, and to offer guidance aal assistance
out of their experience and conviction. Those unfamiliar with this democratic
maethod of intercommunication are apt to. misinterpret expressions of differiarn
opinion.
The trade union press in the U.S. Occupied ur'ea has shown a deep
appreciation of its function as a "-.-vatchdoog of damocracy'ΒΌ
The trade union
membership has been offered a wide variety of opinion on main issues affecting
the welfare of' the working population as well as on those larger questions
of iaterezr to the general population. It has raoroover attempted to present
an objective review of vital information on basic problems before attempting
to open a forum discussion. In so cinig the labor press has revealed a profound
devotion to the traditions of democratic journalism.
One of the main purposes of the following report prepared by l,1r. Beck was
to offer his Grcian colleagues the benefits of his rich background in labor
journalism. -Among ocr. B eck's most important contributions during his visit
to
Germany was the mveeting which he arranged for the editors of the labor press
in the U.S. Occupied Zrea. It is ry opinion that the exchange of e)xperiance
among the trade union editors will strengthen and improve the service vwhich
can
be rendered by the labor press.
~~~ !        ( ,.'O r v
,1  E.   iF  T
Director,
ivianpower Division


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